Habs celebrate 100th anniversary, welcome in Bruins
Friday, 12.04.2009 / 8:00 PMBRUINS (14-8-5) at CANADIENS (12-14-2)
Last 10 --
Boston 6-1-3; Montreal 4-4-2
Season series --
Second of six meetings this season. Montreal won 2-1 in a shootout at TD Garden in Boston on Nov. 5, surviving Patrice Bergeron
's game-tying goal for the Bruins with 52 seconds left in regulation. Mike Cammalleri
netted the decisive score in the penalty-shot tiebreaker, while Glen Metropolit had a first-period goal for the Canadiens.
Big story --
It will be a historic night for the most storied team in the League, as Montreal celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding back on Dec. 4, 1909. The Canadiens, who won 15 Stanley Cup titles in a 24-year stretch from 1956-79 and own 24 championships total, will mark the occasion by facing off against one of their Original Six rivals in what should be an incredible atmosphere at the Bell Centre.
''It's the 100-year anniversary, we'll try not to let our fans down,'' center Maxim Lapierre said. ''We have to win that game and give our best performance.''
It appears Boston has hit its stride, picking up six wins and a shootout loss since its last regulation defeat on Nov. 16 against the Islanders. Marc Savard
, who is back healthy after missing significant time early in the season due to a broken foot, celebrated his new seven-year contract extension by scoring his 200th goal Wednesday in a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay. The Bruins got a pair of goals by Marco Sturm and 39 saves from Tim Thomas
against the Lightning.
"It was a load off my mind, to tell the truth," Savard said of the new contract. "I'd been thinking about it for a while, especially during the time off. That's when we really pressed to get it done. I know this is probably my last one. I wanted to stay in one city, so it's good to be able to do it here."
The prelude to Friday's festivities turned out to be a clunker for Montreal, which trailed 4-0 less than 25 minutes into Thursday's game in Buffalo and fell by a 6-2 final score. Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak was under siege all night, stopping 31 shots but also giving up some juicy rebounds the Sabres converted into goals.
"He didn't have any help," coach Jacques Martin said. "Most of the goals that were scored were second and third chances. You've got to win battles. We lost too many battles. They beat us to the puck. They were more determined than us."
Who's hot --
Savard's goal gave him a four-game points streak. Mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara
have played set-up men for the Bruins over the past two games, with Recchi compiling four assists and Chara three during that span.
Injury report --
An injury-plagued campaign continues for Boston forward Milan Lucic
, who is currently out with a high-ankle sprain and expected to miss at least four weeks. Forward Vladimir Sobotka is questionable for Friday's game with an undisclosed illness.
Montreal players on injured reserve include defensemen Andrei Markov
(ankle) and Hal Gill
(foot), and forwards Brian Gionta
(foot) and Benoit Pouliot
Stat pack --
A little under a year ago, the Canadiens became the first NHL team to reach 3,000 victories, accomplishing the feat with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Dec. 29, 2008.
Puck drop --
Will the lengthy pregame ceremony fire up the Habs and make the Bell Centre an even more intimidating venue for the visitors, or can the Bruins turn all the emotion in their favor and play a textbook road game?